Propagating plants often seems intimidating to novice gardeners. But really, all it means is growing a new plant from a parent plant. Fortunately for us, Mother Nature does all of the heavy lifting for this process. Syngonium podophyllum, or arrowhead plants, are easy to propagate from stem cuttings, and can be done using a couple of different methods.
What You'll Learn Today
- When is the Best Time to Propagate Cuttings?
- How Do You Propagate Syngonium?
- How To Grow Arrowhead Plant In Water
When is the Best Time to Propagate Cuttings?
Technically, you might be able to propagate your arrowhead whenever you want to. But your chances of success are much higher under certain circumstances.
Many gardeners wait until pruning time to propagate since they’re already cutting the plant back. Arrowhead plants grow fast and tend to need pruning a few times per year to keep the growth under control.
Some people also take cuttings while they are repotting. But if you’re in between maintenance sessions, and want to start a new plant or gift some of your Syngonium to someone else, you can propagate whenever you have a decent stem candidate.
As with most houseplants, it’s always best to propagate an arrowhead plant during the growing season. This gives the fragile cuttings the best chance of establishing roots quickly.
The growing season for arrowhead plants typically lasts from about mid-April to mid-October. If you miss this window, however, you’re not totally out of luck.
If you end up needing to prune or repot your plant during the winter, you can still take the opportunity to snip some stem cuttings. Propagating arrowhead plants in the colder months is possible, but it will likely take longer for the roots to grow, and there’s a higher chance that they might not take.
How Do You Propagate Syngonium?
Propagating your Syngonium in soil is easy if you have basic gardening supplies. You will need:
- Clean, sharp pruning shears
- Small pot (a 4” pot generally works for small arrowhead plant cuttings)
- Potting mix
Here’s how to do it:
Choose Your Cutting
No matter how long you want your cutting to be, make sure to pick one long enough so that 2-3 nodes will be in the soil. The nodes are the little bumps on either side of the stem, where the roots will grow from. You can snip the stem right below these.
Remove the Bottom Leaves
The bottom leaves on the cutting usually die off and new growth should occur during propagation.
Place the Cutting in the Soil
Cover the bottom 2-3 nodes of the stem cutting with your soil mix.
Water the Cutting and Find Some Light
Gently water your baby arrowhead plant until the soil is fairly moist. Find a nice, bright spot for the cutting that’s not in direct sunlight.
Water your cuttings when only the top layer of soil is dry, much like the parent plant. This will probably end up being every 4-5 days.
The plant also needs to be kept in a humid environment during the rooting process. A simple way to do this is by placing an open plastic bag over the pot to keep the moisture in.
You can expect to see roots growing from the stem within 1-2 weeks.
How To Grow Arrowhead Plant In Water
Some gardeners prefer to propagate their arrowhead plants in water instead of soil. This is easier than the soil method since all you have to do is stick the cutting in some water.
Water propagation is also great because you can easily see and monitor root growth. The only downside is the extra step of putting it in a pot once roots are established.
Here’s how to propagate in water:
Choose Your Cutting
Snip a cutting that’s at least 3-5 inches long, just like you would using the soil method.
Remove the Bottom Leaves
Since the bottom leaves will likely die off anyways and could be in the way of seeing your roots grow, you can remove them.
Put the Cutting in Water
Place the cutting in a small vase or tube filled with room temperature water. Make sure the bottom nodes are completely submerged in the water.
Wait for Roots to Grow
Watching those tiny roots come out of the stem can be fun. You can expect to see some growth within a week or 2.
Replace the Water Periodically
Maintain the water level and keep it fresh by changing out the water about every 5 days.
Pot Your Cuttings
After a couple of weeks, the roots should be established enough for you to plant them in soil. Once you’ve potted it, you can take care of it just like you treat the parent plant.
Check out this video for a helpful visual demonstration of how this gardener propagates her Syngonium, and how to care for the cuttings:
Once you get the hang of propagating, your gardening possibilities increase exponentially. How cool is it that you can essentially get free additional plants from your existing garden?
If the roots don’t establish themselves the first time you try it, don’t stress. Your existing arrowhead plant will be happy to provide you with more cuttings again soon.